Sensational Seafood and Chicken Paella

August 14, 2012

If you are looking for a dish to feed a crowd, this seafood and chicken paella is absolutely perfect.  There is everything an eater could want in this paella: chicken, pork, mussels, shrimp, squid and more.  This traditional Spanish dish is cooked with plenty of vegetables, aromatics and of course, rice.  The key ingredient in paella is saffron which gives the rice a rich yellow color and a slightly floral flavor.  This spice can be quiet expensive but a little bit goes a long way.  Invite your friends and family to the house and cook them this sensational seafood and chicken paella.

Seafood Paella


1 dozen mussels
1 pound jumbo shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boned skinned chicken legs and breasts cut small pieces
1/4 pound pork cut 1" cubes
3/4 pound cleaned squid cut in rings
1 green bell pepper cut 1" squares
2 garlic cloves minced
1 lrg tomato peeled, seeded,
and chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
(or parboiled fava beans)
2 small artichokes (optional), parboiled
and quartered
4 1/2 cups water or broth
2 cups Spanish short-grain rice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads crushed
1/2 teaspoon pimenton (Spanish paprika)
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1 jar red pimentos - (2 oz) drained, and
cut into strips
1/2 lemon for garnish
Place the mussels in a large pot with 1/4 cup of water and cover. Steam the mussels over high heat until they open, about 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any empty half-shells. Strain the liquid and reserve it.
Cook 4 to 6 unpeeled shrimp in boiling water 1 minute. Reserve them and add the cooking liquid to the mussel liquid. Shell the remaining shrimp and set them aside. (If preparing a broth in which to cook the rice, the shrimp shells can be cooked with the stock.)
Heat the oil in a 12-inch paella pan. Cook the pieces of chicken and pork on medium heat until they are lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the pieces of squid and continue cooking. Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the tomato and increase the heat so it quickly loses its liquid. Stir in the peeled shrimp, peas or fava beans and artichokes, if using. Add enough water or broth to the reserved liquid to equal 4 cups. Add the liquid to the pan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the rice.
Combine the saffron, pimenton and food coloring with 1/4 cup of water. Dribble this into the pan. Add pepper to taste, the bay leaf and salt (if the broth was salted, less will be needed). Stir to distribute all the ingredients. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook 10 minutes more. Do not stir the paella.
Arrange the mussels and cooked shrimp on top of the rice. Garnish with strips of pimento. Add additional liquid if necessary. Cook until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 5 to 6 minutes more. Let the paella rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Place a half-lemon in the center or lemon wedges around the edges. Many people like to add a squeeze of lemon to their serving of paella.
This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.
Variation: For a 16-inch paella pan, serving 6 to 8: Increase the quantity of rice to 3 cups; increase liquid to 6 1/2 cups. Prepare the sofrito on top of the stove. Add the liquid to the paella pan and bring to a boil. Add the rice and bring again to a boil. Place the pan in a 375-degree oven and cook 20 minutes.

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